A Timely Weekend


Things made a sort of pattern during a recent weekend. I love to watch cooking shows on PBS, but, lately, I rarely have time to sit and enjoy them. On Saturday morning, I enjoyed eating a late breakfast as I watched Marianne Esposito visit a prosciutto producer in Italy where she talked about the use of salt in curing and time, T-I-M-E. She returned to her Italian kitchen to make dishes using prosciutto and repeated this several times emphasizing that she was talking about the passage of time as opposed to the herb, thyme.

I began to think, “Enough. I’m already overly aware of the passage of time. It moves too quickly, there is never enough of it in a day, let alone enough left over for a good sleep at night.” Boo, hoo. Most of us lament together over our to-do lists and the ones I usually line up for Saturday contain far more than I should ever expect to accomplish.      

On Sunday, after our church service and a brief board meeting, my family climbed in my car, decided to eat at the local pizza parlor buffet, and began the drive up Lisbon’s Market Street hill. My car, a lot like its owner, is in fairly good shape for its age. . . on first glance, but it’s starting to show its wear, and things are likely to malfunction without much warning.

Halfway up the slope we felt an abrupt ping! and the engine cut out. Luckily we were on the incline and had just passed the parking lot of another church, by now, nearly empty. Mark let the car coast safely down the hill and into a parking space. We decided not to call AAA until we followed through with lunch so we walked up the hill to the pizza shop (not far), and indulged as though nothing had changed about our transportation home.

As usual, we took plenty of time over our food, watching different groups come and go while we talked and ate. When we were back outside, I called for a tow, we walked downhill to the car and realized that the tow truck would only have room for two of us to go along. Jo had homework to do so she went with her dad. Kathie and I walked back to our own church where we sat and waited on a bench under the small porch overhang.

It was a hot, but beautiful, afternoon. For a change, I wasn’t worrying about what I could have been doing if only I were home. I wondered why I felt so shortchanged for time on some occasions while other times I could enjoy a moment like this as though I hadn’t a care in the world. My inconsistency is a puzzle like all the ups and downs of life.

When Jim, our mechanic, called the next day, he agreed with Mark’s diagnosis on the car. It was the timing belt. Yes, I’m a lot like my car. A timing belt is just what I need.


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